Coronavirus Found on Diamond Princess Surfaces 17 Days Later

Coronavirus stays on surfaces far longer than scientists first thought. Traces of coronavirus remained inside cabins of the Diamond Princess for more than two weeks after the 3,711 passengers and crew were removed, according to alarming new research.

A report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Monday traces of the coronavirus is found in cabins on the stricken cruise ship 17 days after they were abandoned. More than five times longer than it was believed at first. Scientists had initially claimed the potentially deadly bug live two to three days on some surfaces.

Researchers who studied the Diamond Princess, which had been docked in Japan since February 5 and placed under quarantine for more than two weeks after several passengers and crew got positive with COVID-19, determined that there were still traces of the virus present inside cabins almost three weeks later.

The cabins had not yet been sanitized at that point, and it was too early to draw conclusions from the data, according to researchers. In February, during the beginning of the outbreak, the Diamond Princess represented the largest number of coronavirus cases outside of mainland China, as more than 700 people who were aboard the ship tested positive for the coronavirus.

About 200 cases of COVID-19 from returned cruise travelers were reported in the U.S. between February 3 and March 13. Later, at least 15 states have reported cases associated with cruise travel to the CDC.

Major cruise lines halted sailing operations to and from U.S. ports and around the world amid the ongoing crisis earlier this month.

According to USA Today.